bits & pieces

Is this unfair to Chipmunks? 😕


WH: The Federal Government is the largest property owner in the United States. But some 14,000 of its properties sit unused and unneeded, costing taxpayers millions of dollars a year in operating and maintenance expenses. To cut down on this wasteful and inefficient spending, the Obama Administration has taken unprecedented steps to reduce this stock of unused property and is on track to save $3.5 billion by the end of Fiscal Year 2012.

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Woot! GOP Tweedledum has fallen out with GOP Tweedledee 😆


Firefox users? They’ve released an update today that seems to have improved things …. I’d almost given up and switched to a new browser. Let me know if it’s better for you.




President Obama meets with Portugal’s President Aníbal Cavaco Silva in the Oval Office

91 Responses to “bits & pieces”

  1. 1 Jessica
    November 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Most Independents are soft-core Republicans so it’s not surprising they disapprove of his handling of the economy. They also are very finnicky. Today they disapprove, tomorrow they approve. Whichever way the wind blows.

    • 2 utaustinliberal
      November 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm

      This is what I feel also. Independents frustrate the hell out of me. They’re Democrats one day and Republicans the next. They’re Liberal one day and Conservative the next. It annoys me that parties always have to cater to them because unfortunately they swing elections one way or another. I just wish they would stick to one party and stop being wishy washy. For example in Maine, they have two republican senators who don’t do any good for the state of Maine (Maine is pretty much a blue state in Presidential elections) but do they kick them out and replace them with Democrats? No. Because in non-Presidential elections Indies are very crucial and they keep handing the two seats to the republicans.

    • November 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      Indies only favored Obama by 52-44% in 2008. His win is more attributable to the fact that more Democrats voted than Republicans. 39% of 2008 voters were Democrats, while 32% were Republicans and 29% were independents.

    • November 9, 2011 at 3:37 pm

      agree with you all on independents.. here in ND, nearly every person I spoke to while door knocking called themselves “independent” and then they proceeded to vote republican.. I consider them very wishy-washy. One thing that I heard over and over from these folks was that they vote for the ‘person’ and not the ‘party’.

      • November 9, 2011 at 4:15 pm

        I call BS to that “person over party.” So called “Independents” irritate me no end when I canvass but I try to be patient with them.

        • 6 FiredUpInCA
          November 9, 2011 at 5:19 pm

          I agree. There is no individuality allowed among current elected officials in the GOP. They vote in lockstep. So to vote for a Republican is to vote for that party’s agenda of being anti-labor, anti-reproductive rights, anti-voting, anti-Medicare, anti-fair taxation, anti-immigrant.

          I would say a tiny percentage of self-identified independents are truly independent. There majority are Republicans that either don’t want to admit it in public or admit it to themselves.

          • 7 jacquelineoboomer
            November 9, 2011 at 6:43 pm

            That’s a very good point, FiredUp. No such thing as voting for “one” Republican. You get the whole damn party line when you do.

      • November 9, 2011 at 4:48 pm

        A lot of people identify as independent when faced with a member of the party they don’t really relate to because it’s easier than saying they’re republican and risking a confrontation. Most people are averse to confrontation so they avoid it by dodging.

        • 9 theo67
          November 9, 2011 at 5:00 pm

          I think you’re right. A lot of people were ashamed of the Republican party after the sound thrashing they received from President Obama back in 2008. They turned “Independent”, and still hold out hope that Repubs will gain more clout and sanity before 2012. It’s not going to happen.

          • 10 Lochelle
            November 9, 2011 at 6:27 pm

            I really take issue with some of the comments above. I consider myself an Independent and I don’t consider myself a wishy washly person at all. To make a general statements about Independents and imply we are Republicans in hiding is not quite fair. Being a Democrat is no cake walk either. I care about this country and want this President to succeed and it has been quite obvious to many people no matter party affiliation that the Republicans in Congress have been obstructionists and prohibitive to economic recovery just to get PBO out of office. Just because one does not profess to be a die hard liberal democrat or conservative does not mean a belief or value system does not exist.

            • 11 jacquelineoboomer
              November 9, 2011 at 6:45 pm

              Point taken.

            • 12 EDP4BHO
              November 9, 2011 at 6:59 pm

              I am an independent, and I agree with the rest of those who say we are wishy-washy. Now, on a personal level, you are obviously level-headed, but there is a large contingent of those who really like the power of being able to sway elections, according to their preferences, without harm of being labeled traditionally. Case in point, the so-called professional left. I myself chose the title because I do not want to be labeled, but 99% of my votes have always been cast for Democrats, and I needn’t hide that fact. Indeed I am proud of it.

            • November 9, 2011 at 10:25 pm

              ‘I would say a tiny percentage of self-identified independents are truly independent.’ – FiredUpInCA

            • 14 sjterrid
              November 10, 2011 at 1:41 am

              I agree with you my husband has never been affiliated with any party either. He votes based on the individual candidate’s policies.

    • November 9, 2011 at 3:46 pm

      I know I will never see another day without a poll. I try to ignore them as much as possible, but they are truly ubiquitous. What people don’t take into account is the fact that very few respondents really answer the question asked – a question that is often constructed to confuse in the first place. When people talk about the economy, their disapproval has a lot more to do with the status quo than the “handling” by the President. When asked “Do you approve of the President’s handling of the economy” they really state “No I don’t like the way things are”. When asked “Who do you want to be in charge of economic policy” the answer may not be a perfect endorsement of the President’s efforts and ideas, but it sure would be a lot better than the open-ended “handling” question that conveniently leaves out any discussion of cause or remedy or even attention to the subject at hand.

      • November 9, 2011 at 4:50 pm

        The biggest problem is the question about the direction of the country. How can you answer that without separating out the president and the congress. And how can you answer anything about Congress without distinguishing between the Republican majority and the Dems. Very few pollsters ask smart questions, which is why the polls make no sense. Most of the things they ask can’t be answered with simple yeses or noes and when they are, the results are skewered.

        • 18 Debz
          November 9, 2011 at 5:20 pm

          The question about the direction of the country makes me crazy. I could answer “no” but that’s because i think the repugs are trying to destroy the country, some tp person says “no” because they hate the President. But the total of responses is shown as everyone being against the President. They really need to stop asking that silly question. It proves nothing.

          • 19 prettyfoot58
            November 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm


            I think most folks are just flat out scared….they do not know what will happen and feel powerless to change it….if you are unemployed …hell no you don’t feel well about the state of the country….if you have a job and you are struggling to make ends meet …no you don’t feel good….and if you are one of the many folks who are not politically astute…meaning that you understand what is happening in our government…or are UNinvolved…you feel that it is the same old same old….

            Flower spoke to some veterans at a town meeting….and found that they truly did not have an understanding of what was happening with Veterans….what the President’s focus has been re: veterans and what he wants to accomplish thru his jobs bill….

            we who come here…sift thru the lies that the media promotes…we have an astuteness that many do not have….

            there was a piece that STEVE BENEN wrote…about what the Repubs hope to gain from their obstructionism….

            it is well worth reading….


            ” — Republicans have an incentive, not only to hold the country back on purpose, but also to block every good idea, even the ones they agree with, because they assume voters will end up blaming the president in the end.”

  2. 20 Me4obama
    November 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    😆 😆 Chipsticks, please confirm to me that you made this video, omgggggggggggggggggggggggggg GENIUS GIRL 😯 😯 this is going VIRAL.

  3. 21 Fred
    November 9, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Chip you are an effing genius if you came up with that 😆 😆

  4. November 9, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    Occupy Oakland members vote to deposit $20,000 with Wells Fargo


    Occupy Oakland has voted to deposit $20,000 with Wells Fargo Bank — just days after Occupy protesters shattered windows of one of the bank’s downtown Oakland branches during the group’s attempt to stage a general strike in the embattled East Bay city.

    The decision was posted at Occupy Oakland’s site for its general assembly. According to the link, the group made the decision to deposit the $20,000 with Wells at a meeting on Monday night.

    Wells Fargo quickly trumpeted the decision.

    “If this report is true, it demonstrates that even Occupy Oakland understands — first-hand — the value and service that Wells Fargo provides its customers,” Wells spokesman Ruben Pulido said in an e-mail to this newspaper.

    • 26 donna dem 4 obama
      November 9, 2011 at 4:46 pm

      SMH-This screams the height of hypocrisy. Its just unbelievable. So you spend two months screaming about teh big bad banksters then you turn around and put your money in their bank because its only temporary. Sigh!!!

    • 28 theo67
      November 9, 2011 at 5:03 pm

      I thought OWS was claiming victory for the bank day thing the other day? Confusing.

    • 29 JoJothecat
      November 9, 2011 at 7:49 pm

      The article conveniently also states…….

      “It wasn’t immediately clear if the funds have been deposited with Wells Fargo”.

      I don’t believe who every wrote this is full of BS. Maybe it was on OWS Oakland’s website, has anyone checked? Sounds like Wells Fargo propaganda to me, why is someone with Well Fargo looking on this organization’s website?

  5. November 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    The energy to operate the buildings where we work, shop, and go to school costs about $200 billion every year. And on average, 30 percent of this energy is wasted. By rallying corporations, universities, and municipalities to make significant commitments to energy efficiency, we can save billions in energy costs, create jobs and reduce waste.
    That’s the goal behind the Better Buildings Challenge — part of President Obama’s Better Buildings Initiative — which aims to make America’s commercial and industrial buildings at least 20 percent more efficient over the next decade. To achieve this aggressive target, the Energy Department is working with public and private sector partners like cities or companies that commit to being leaders in energy efficiency. These partners will implement energy savings practices that reduce energy waste and energy bills, showcasing effective strategies and the results of their efforts.

    Over the past few weeks, two of the initial Better Buildings Challenge partners — Lend Lease, a Corporate Partner, and the City of Atlanta, a Community Partner — held events to kick off their partnership in the Better Buildings Challenge.   


  6. November 9, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Just think, soon Dennis kucinich seat will be eliminated. Joyous occasion, for everyone in America.
    Imagine, Dennis the menace is then going to run in the primary against Mary kaptur?
    Who will you democrats vote for? Hint, Hint!

  7. November 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    firefox8.0. ? pshaw. That was like eons ago. I am on ff 9.0.a.2. Hah.

  8. 33 dotster3
    November 9, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    That TPM ad is a beauty. Pretty much says it all about how low our news media has sunk—–which is to the deepest, most embarrassing depths.
    In other news, I was just polled again—–or something. Couldn’t figure out if it was a political poll or a vacation scam. Please take our political survey and stay on the line for a free cruise, or a drawing for a free cruise ?, to the Bahamas as a little thank you for your trouble—–which I knew was bogus but stuck around to see what kind of political questions. What is your current opinion on the Dems in Congress, 5 the highest rating, 1 the lowest. What about Republicans in Congress? What about President Obama? Thank you and stay on line for cruise info, tax and gratuities not included. Of course I hung up. I couldn’t figure out if they dangled the cruise so people would not hang up and take the poll or if it was just trying to sell a cruise, but then I thought —-why use political questions which would likely make many people slam down the phone. Anyhoo—-seemed like Repub sponsored poll to me.

    • 34 Debz
      November 9, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      I got that “poll” the other day. i think it’s some vacation scam that is pretending to be a “poll” to get around the Do Not Call list.

  9. November 9, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Senate committee approves two-year highway funding bill
    By Keith Laing – 11/09/11 01:52 PM ET
    A new, two-year federal highway bill was approved Wednesday by a key Senate committee, setting up a standoff with the House, which has proposed a longer bill that spends less money per year on roads and bridges.

    After a markup hearing Tuesday, the Senate Environment and Public Works approved its Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The measure will be one of several pieces of legislation intended to extend highway funding, which is set to expire at the end of March next year, at current levels adjusted for inflation for two more years.

    The House has thus far suggested a drastically different approach — passing a six-year highway bill that limits funding to what is brought in by federal gas tax.

    • 36 theo67
      November 9, 2011 at 5:06 pm

      They don’t want to spend on infrastructure at the rate that’s required to keep ahead of global competition, but they want to make the Bush tax cuts permanent (which have been proven to have accomplished nothing except blowing up the deficit), and they want to start a war with Iran (which will cost lives and lots of money, with no benefit).

  10. November 9, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Republicans are just being dicks-

    Republicans set their sights on another Energy Department program

    By Andrew Restuccia
    Top Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee pressed the Energy Department Wednesday to halt a program for financing power line projects, arguing that it puts taxpayers at “unacceptable financial risk.”

    The Republican lawmakers, in a letter to Energy Secretary Steven Chu, point to a DOE inspector general report released this week that raises major questions about the program.

    The report — written by DOE Inspector General Gregory Friedman — cites problems with an electric transmission project that received $152 million in stimulus-law financing authorized under the program, which is operated by the Energy Department’s Western Area Power Administration (WAPA).

    “The Department of Energy (DOE) should cease and desist with any and all WAPA borrowing authority expenditures and activities,” committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.) and Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), the chairman of the panel’s power subcommittee, write in the letter.

    So, now we can’t update our transmission lines? WTF?

  11. 38 Bill
    November 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    The MSNBC promo of Chuck Todd driving to the WH is embarrassing to watch.

  12. November 9, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    Encouraging news on recycling

    Bottles To Bridges: Making Infrastructure From Recycled Plastic

  13. November 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    USDA canceled the x-mas tree tax that was in the health care bill.
    Demint went crazy on tge senate floor with this.
    I gotta say, who put this in the health care bill?
    I mean a 15% tax on trees?

  14. November 9, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    I’m on FF 8.0 that I just loaded up a couple days ago. In the Firefox help menu, it says I have the latest update. *shrugs*…..

    However, I’ve never had any troubles with any of the other versions……I think sometimes it has to do with our providers, and/or our various computers.

  15. 54 nintendowii10
    November 9, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    LMFAO Chips

    😆 😆 😆 😆

  16. 55 nintendowii10
    November 9, 2011 at 4:16 pm


  17. November 9, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Saw this graphic in support of gay marriage, its a keeper.

  18. November 9, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    President Obama plans on having two press conferences on his upcoming trip, the White House says.

    The national security adviser Ben Rhodes, briefing reporters at the White House, says that Obama will meet Saturday with the leaders of Japan, China and Russia; on Sunday, he’ll call a press conference after the APEC summit is over. That night he’ll meet with the leaders of Mexico and Canada.

    In Australia, Obama will speak to parliament, meet with the president and have another press conference.

  19. 66 anniebella
    November 9, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    What the hell is wrong with Michigan and Independents?

  20. November 9, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    November 9, 2011
    White House Hosts African American Policy in Action Leadership Conference
    White House Releases New Policy Report Outlining the Obama Administration Achievements in the African American Community
    WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Wednesday, November 8, the White House held an African American Policy in Action Leadership Conference, bringing community leaders from across the country together with a broad range of White House and Cabinet officials for an in-depth series of interactive workshops and substantive conversations on the Administration’s efforts and achievements in the African American community. Participants including community leaders, professors, faith leaders, civil rights leaders, and elected officials, have the opportunity to interact with Administration officials on pressing issues that directly impact African Americans. Discussion topics include strengthening the economy through the American Jobs Act, job training, access to capital for growing businesses, reforming our nation’s education system, protecting civil rights, community development initiatives, and strategies targeting poverty.


  21. 68 AJ
    November 9, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    To everyone frustrated with Independents….please consider that for at least a different generation in different parts of the country, the “independent” label was not a way of squirming out of a decision, but a proud statement that a voter was beholden to no one, and could vote their conscience. “Vote for the man, not the party,” was how I was taught by my very progressive mom (yes, I’m old enough that as a child, female politicians were a rarity)

    This ideology resulted in my sister and I growing up into social liberals and enthusiastic voters. Nine times out of ten, I vote Democratic, but I will not reject a progressive GOP’er out of hand. (Yes, I’m from New England where “progressive GOP’ers” was not a contradiction in terms back in the day, and even now..if you look hard enough.

    I know many of you will strongly disagree with this stance, and I can deal with that. I only ask you to keep an open mind about how some folks view the term “independant.”

    • 69 nintendowii10
      November 9, 2011 at 5:03 pm

      I consider myself an independent, because both parties have frustrated me at some point. I also believe the labels conservative and liberal are meaningless. I lean towards Democrats but remain open to voting for reasonable sane Republicans.

      • 70 theo67
        November 9, 2011 at 5:12 pm

        Do reasonable, sane Republicans really still exist? Even the Maine twins have voted with Republicans most of the time these past three years, including voting against health care for Americans, etc. But, your point is not lost.

        • 71 anniebella
          November 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm

          I use to think they did exsist, but the Pee- Party, I mean the Tea Party has people like Sen. Snowe and Collins running scared. This is what really makes you mad right now. You used to have sensible Republicans and Democrats who would sit down and do what was best for this country. Not anymore. As the President says, the plans in his jobs bill are plans which use to be supported by Republicans and Democrats, what’s the difference now? So I don’t think there are any sensible Republicans.

      • 72 FiredUpInCA
        November 9, 2011 at 5:28 pm

        I’ve been a member of a third party since 2008. I voted Obamacrat in 2008 and will vote Obamacrat again in 2012. I’ll probably switch to Warrencrat in 2016.

    • 73 AJ
      November 9, 2011 at 5:07 pm

      …and just for the record, I consider myself a Dem now, and have done so for years.

      PS, and OT: Could someone please leave a link or an explanation to the “chipmonk” and “firebag” references? I feel if I don’t read every post, I fall way behind. 😦

  22. November 9, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Grover Norquist Anti-Tax Pledge Signers Want Their Names Removed

    methinks the tide is turning.

  23. 77 criquet
    November 9, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Anyone know if reports that Mitt Romney has pulled out of the GOP debate in Michigan tonight are true?

    • November 9, 2011 at 5:38 pm

      Didn’t hear that criquet, any more details?

      • 79 criquet
        November 9, 2011 at 6:09 pm

        Sorry I did not reply before but I had to go off and do some stuff with my puppy who has been diagnosed with a form of lupus.
        Not good but we are fighting.

        I got an email from a friend saying that Progressive Michigan had tweeted this info but I did not see it anywhere else so was asking here since TOD usually knows everything, thank goodness!

  24. 80 dotster3
    November 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    What up with twitter? Can’t access. Asking “are you human?” Um, yes, I believe so, Ms. Twitter, why ya askin’?

  25. 84 Linda
    November 9, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Here is some footage from Nome, Alaska just to give you some idea of what these people are dealing with right now.


  26. November 9, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    This is interesting…Harvard is receiving push back from a small group of students regarding its ‘conservative curriculum.’

    Around 70 students walked out of Professor Greg Mankiw’s Economics 10 class this week, claiming his teachings have driven the inequalities in today’s society. In an open letter, they suggest his conservative curriculum has influenced former Harvard students – including today’s policy makers and bankers – to bring about the financial crisis.

    Students had expected a class that included ‘a critical discussion of both the benefits and flaws of different economic simplifying models’. But they said the class ‘does not include primary sources and rarely features articles from academic journals, [so] we have very little access to alternative approaches to economics’. They write: ‘We found a course that espouses a specific – and limited – view of economics that we believe perpetuates problematic and inefficient systems of economic inequality in our society today. ‘We are deeply concerned about the way that this bias affects students, the University, and our greater society.’


    Prof Mankiw, who advised President George W. Bush and now Mitt Romney, has written two widely used economics textbooks. In one, he called the idea that tax cuts pay for themselves ‘fad economics’. At 700 students, the class has the highest enrollment of any undergraduate course at the university.


    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2058319/Did-Harvard-economics-class-cause-financial-crisis-Students-walk-lecture.html#ixzz1dFbW6obb

  27. November 9, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Some glitches in today’s FEMA test-


    Also, I did not know FEMA could text everyone if their was a national disaster.

  28. November 9, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Defense spending would be hurt, but only if Congress allows the cuts to occur.

    “I think there would be a furious effort to overturn those” automatic defense cuts, Cornyn said after his speech. He mentioned other GOP senators, Armed Services ranking member John McCain, Jon Kyl of Arizona, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, as vowing to rescind the automatic defense cuts.

    Cornyn said, “I’m going to be all in” in their effort. “My hope is we don’t come to that” — in other words, he hopes the super committee does devise a plan that spares defense and gets its savings from tax reform and reductions in future entitlement spending.


    They want to reverse the defense cuts. Tough shit.

    • 90 JoJothecat
      November 9, 2011 at 8:11 pm

      Wasn’t that the point of forming the supercongress and if the lazy gop would not get off their asses, then the defense and entitlement cuts would go through? You can’t safe one and NOT THE OTHER!

  29. November 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    275,000 People Want MSNBC To Fire Pat Buchanan


    ….African-American civil rights organization ColorOfChange.org and CREDO Action gathered 275,000 people who are demanding that MSNBC President Phil Griffin fire Buchanan immediately. The ColorOfChange.org petition reads, “Buchanan has a long and consistent history of peddling white supremacist ideology as legitimate political commentary, on your network and elsewhere.” Noting that Buchanan has the right to express his views, the petition says “he’s not entitled to a platform that lets him broadcast bigotry and hate to millions. If MSNBC and NBC want to be seen as trusted, mainstream sources of news and commentary, you need to fire Buchanan now.” Buchanan has not appeared on MSNBC since he began promoting his book on Oct. 22.


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